By Nick Ware

2nd Sep, 2021 | 4:10pm

Sir Geoff Hurst sings Patrick Bamford praises after Leeds United striker's England reward

Sir Geoff Hurst has showered praise on Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford after his maiden England senior call-up this week.

The 1966 World Cup hat-trick hero, speaking on talkSPORT [02/09/21], believes the 27-year-old is well-worth his place in the Three Lions squad for their upcoming September fixtures against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.

“It’s nice to see someone like Patrick Bamford get a chance because his performances at club level with Leeds have been terrific,” Hurst said.

“What it is showing is that it’s competitive, one or two people like Dominic Calvert-Lewin are out and you can bring in someone like Patrick Bamford who you think ‘my goodness me, he’s going to do well as well’.

“That’s the beauty of a tremendous squad, he [Gareth Southgate] won’t miss a few players if they’re out with injury.”

About time?

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Southgate came under siege from Leeds fans online after the Whites forward was overlooked for friendly fixtures earlier this year and subsequently snubbed from the preliminary squad for the European Championship in the summer.

Bamford was the second-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League last season, with his 17 strikes behind only Harry Kane, but that wasn’t enough to secure him a spot in Southgate’s squad.

Instead, only Calvert-Lewin, who scored one goal less than Bamford, was named as backup to Kane as the Three Lions boss opted for more wingers like Bukayo Sako and Jadon Sancho.

It proved to be a fairly inspired decision as they made it to the final before being beaten on penalties to Italy, but there were question marks early in the tournament with Kane failing to fire and Southgate reticent to use Calvert-Lewin, even failing to find a spot for him on the bench on occasions.

Bamford looks a much more suitable Kane deputy as they can both drop deep and link the play, and it will be interesting to see how Southgate uses him, if at all, over the next week.

In other Leeds United news, Gary Neville is blown away by this major Whites development this week.